Best Practices for Creating Online Presentations

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before a group and want to reach a larger audience? Certain elements are ... PowerPoint slides are a clear and easy way to organize your materials. You may ...

Best Practices for Creating Online Presentations Do you have content you would like to share online with colleagues? Are you giving a presentation before a group and want to reach a larger audience? Certain elements are common to all presentations: content (e.g., a core set of PowerPoint slides) learning objectives, concise audio script audio resources (e.g., microphone) The simplest procedure for converting a PowerPoint-based presentation into content that can be accessed online or through mobile devices is to use screen capture software which records PowerPoint slides and audio. Techsmith’s Camtasia Studio, Adobe Captivate and Articulate Presenter are examples of this type of software. Best practices for creating a presentation, capturing audio and converting the content for online viewing are described below.

POWER POINT SLIDES PowerPoint slides are a clear and easy way to organize your materials. You may already have a presentation that can be modified for use online. Sustaining audience interest is critical. As a rule of thumb, 45-50 slides should equal about one hour of content. Consider breaking the content into smaller chunks if slides number 40 or more. Guidelines for creating informative, attractive slides: Use dark print against white (or very light) background Use simple backgrounds Use sans serif fonts (Ariel 32 pt. is a good choice) Avoid using red or green (problem for color blind viewers) Avoid text-heavy slides; chunk information across several slides Use shapes or other graphics to display ideas or processes rather than text Graphics/pictures on slides: Images should be large and clearly drawn Design elements (e.g., animations) should support learning rather than distract the audience Below are examples of text and graphics-heavy slides that have been modified for better comprehension

Figure 1a Too much information on this slide

Figure 1b Slide contents streamlined

Summarize points; avoid reading slide contents verbatim

Omit footnotes on slides

Figure 2a Too many images for one slide

Three images overwhelm slide

Divide images over two or more slides Figures 2b and 2c

a) Using videos and live connections to websites during PowerPoint presentations: Use caution – technical difficulties in launching these can derail your presentation Consider using an introductory video prior to beginning (looping the video) and then edit into the online content using the screen capture software. Videos can also be edited into the body of content as needed with this software Use screen captures of websites and add them into the PowerPoint presentation, rather than attempting live connections before an audience. Web addresses can be listed in handouts or in supporting documentation online

Organizing Content: Creating Learning Objectives Of all the activities involved in the instructional design process, developing objectives is one of the most critical. A learning objective is a clear, concise description of what the learner will be able to do at the end of the course. Also, well-written objectives can often serve as the basis for assessment (e.g., post test questions). When composing your learning objectives: determine the overall goal of the learning module (acquisition of skills, knowledge, attitudes) determine what students must do to demonstrate goal achievement Use action words to state objectives: "After completing this course, you will be able to:" Then use specific terms such as understand, explain, list, determine, distinguish, and list. Finally, describe the conditions for demonstrating mastery. Here are two sample objectives: After completing this course, you will be able to name and describe the two main approaches to developing controls. After completing this course and given a list of steps, you will be able to identify the correct sequence of steps required to achieve a specific outcome. Use of Third Party Materials If you are including any Third Party Material in your presentation, it is your responsibility to ensure that no copyright, trademark, trade secret, publicity or privacy rights, or other intellectual property rights are being violated.

Creating and Recording Audio for Online Content You may have used the Slide Notes feature in creating PowerPoint presentations for live delivery. For clarity and ease in recording audio for online use, it’s to write a full audio script organized by slide. Also the conditions under which the audio is recorded directly impact audio quality. Typically audio is captured in one of two ways: Recording During a Live Presentation While it is possible to record during a live presentation, typically these conditions do not produce the best results. The audio resources must be configured to allow for broadcast to the audience and provide direct input into a recording device. We recommend talking with the audio specialist at the location of the presentation. You may wish to hold questions to the end of your presentation for ease of editing. If you wish to include the Q&A, note that audience member would also need to be miked, or you would want to repeat the question so that it can be properly recorded. Alternately, questions can be included in a separate text document. Preparing an Individual Recording The quality of the microphone (USB microphone is recommended) and the recording location (e.g. soundbooth, library) are major factors in producing a good audio track. Also, Experiment with microphone placement Use a script and practice before recording with different audio levels Enunciate carefully and monitor audio levels as you record When recording, include ten seconds or so of silence both before and after reading the script for each slide ―editing will be much easier. Review the software you’ve selected for suggestions on improving the audio Select software options relating to audio enhancements

Final Considerations and Selecting the Output Format 1) Enhance the tutorial by creating a table of contents with the software 2) Select an output format that corresponds to how you plan to use the recording: MP4/Quicktime—best for delivery on iTunes University, mobile applications Posting to a website or a learning management system (LMS) ― select ‘SCORM’ during final production in order to maximize accessibility across delivery platforms.